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Laura Velkei is a native Angelino born in Santa Monica and raised in the San Fernando Valley.  She attended UC Santa Barbara majoring in Film and minoring in Social Anthropology and Human Behavior.

Laura spent 10 years in the film business as a development executive developing and writing treatments for MOW’s and TV series and it’s also where she got her formal taste for politics.  Wanting to make a difference, she spent her free time engaging in local and national politics being mentored by members of the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee.  She co-founded an organization called Politically speaking which focused on empowering the 18-34 year old vote.  She worked on behalf of Bill Clinton’s campaign and held a large rally for Barbara Boxer in her first bid for Congress.

Laura left the film business looking to expand her skill sets and moved into business management where she continued to work with entertainment industry clients.

Barack Obama and Laura Velkei - Photo by Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza
Barack Obama and Laura Velkei – Photo by Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza

In 2007 she was called to do an event for a young State Senator running for president named Barack Obama.  The result of that event was the formation of LA Grassroots 4 Obama (LAG4O) started with a small group of colleagues in LA.  Within a few months, the group which remained active until 2018, became one of the largest grassroots organizations in the country.  Organizers from all over the US reached out to get direction from LAG4O.  Laura was instrumental in organizing 2 of the largest events in the country for the future President and LAG4O helped train in voter registration, phone banking, and canvassing.

Laura joined Team Obama and Mitchell Schwartz, who won New Hampshire for Bill Clinton in 92, did volunteer training while also working on some local races.  She became the Southern California Volunteer Director for Obama for the Primary Election.

With Obama’s unprecedented primary win, Laura was promoted to CA State Director of Volunteers for the General Election where she staffed senior volunteers throughout the state.  She was privileged to do advance for Vice President Joe Biden and worked with Secret Service staff on multiple events for the President and Vice President.  

Laura made the difficult decision to stay in California instead of heading to Washington turning to all things local.  After taking a much-needed vacation, she purchased a loft in the up-and-coming Arts District Los Angeles where she quickly became engaged in local politics.  She co-founded the Arts District Community Council LA (ADCCLA) and served as the Administrative Director for the Los Angeles River Artists & Business Association (LARABA).  Laura was elected to the Historic Cultural Neighborhood Council in 2014 where she served as the 3rd Vice President, Communications Director, and Chaired the prominent and well respected Land Use Committee she helped found.  

Laura has pointed her attention to creating green canopies for LA City, creating and protecting local and state parks, and lobbying for the responsible restoration of the LA River.  

Laura is a contributor to Citywatch and writes policy positions for multiple boards as well as political and community actions.  She is also the founder of  DONEwatch.